Millionaire Athletes Revolt
As he often does, President Trump expressed the sentiments of millions of Americans during a speech Friday night. On this occasion, it was his anger that the NFL was permitting athletes like Colin Kaepernick to disrespect our country and our flag by not standing during the national anthem.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he is "proud of our league." I am disgusted. Gooodell says that the players have free speech rights. Tell that to Tim Tebow who knelt during games to honor God and was pilloried for it. What do you think Goodell would do if an NFL player took a knee and said he did it to protest abortion on demand?
The left-wing media's ability to control the narrative is infuriating. A Google employee recently protested the suffocating left-wing political correctness in the company by writing a memo. There was nothing offensive or obscene in the memo. He simply asked his bosses to be more welcoming or tolerant of those with differing views.
He was fired. No one in major media defended his free speech rights.
In the wake of the president's comments about the NFL protests, a revolt by oppressed millionaire athletes exploded over the weekend. Hundreds of NFL players participated in some kind of protest. Many took a knee. Some refused to come out of the locker room rather than face the choice of saluting or bending. Others linked arms in solidarity, although for what was not exactly clear.
Keep in mind, all this is happening as the North Korean dictator is threatening to nuke our country and as brave young men and women of all races in the U.S. Armed Forces are fighting in Afghanistan.
In this spectacle of disgusting images, the one that angered me the most was one from the Jaguars/Ravens game, played in London. Many of the players knelt during our national anthem, but stood during "God Save The Queen." I guess they were all against the American Revolution.
But just when I was feeling the most anger, one man (in the truest sense of that word) saved the day. Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers walked out and stood by himself during the national anthem. The rest of the Steelers team stayed inside the locker room.
Villanueva was born in Mississippi to Spanish parents. His father, a Spanish naval officer, was stationed in the U.S. while working for NATO. Villanueva later graduated from West Point, joined the Army and the Rangers. He served three tours in Afghanistan and received the Bronze Star for valor.
Villanueva had the courage to stand alone and honor the flag for which he has seen soldiers lay down their lives.
Incredibly, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin reassured everyone that he tried to talk Villanueva into staying in the locker room. "I was looking for 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team," Tomlin said.
When Kaepernick was the only player disrespecting the flag, he was treated by the elites as a principled hero. One year later, the one man on the Steelers team who put his life on the line for his country is being attacked by his coach for not standing up for the unity of the Steelers, but instead for the United States.
I am glad Alejandro Villanueva put his country before his football team. And it seems many NFL fans are too. Sales of his jersey are skyrocketing.
Memo to NFL headquarters: Commissioner Goodell, you have a big problem. Your ratings are plummeting and polls show these protests are one of the reasons why. You had better figure out a way to get back on the right side of Middle America.
Here's my suggestion: Invite veterans who have served our country to stand on both sides of the playing field. Then announce to the stadium that everyone should stand and sing our national anthem in honor of our country and the brave men and women who have served and sacrificed for it.
If you think this is a good idea, contact the NFL headquarters at 212-450-2000. Or you can send an email through this page.
Why This Is Happening
Here's a quick reminder about why this is happening. It began with Colin Kaepernick protesting police shootings, which he and the left claim are indications of racism within law enforcement.
In fact, studies by the Washington Post and Harvard University and scholar Heather MacDonald show that when you analyze police shootings there is virtually no evidence of racism. The overwhelming majority of police shootings happened because some individual -- regardless of race -- threatened a police officer or someone else with a weapon.
Last week in Washington, D.C., a 16 year-old African American boy was robbed and killed by a 19 year-old African American thug. The 16 year-old boy was a star athlete and exceptional student on his way to college to study chemistry. The thug was on his way to a life of crime.
The name of the young man killed was Zaire Kelly. Say it again in your mind. Say it again. I am asking you to repeat Kelly's name because the odds are overwhelming that his death will be of no consequence to anyone other than his immediate family and friends. I will guarantee you that few, if any, NFL players know his name.
Colin Kaepernick and other millionaire athletes won't turn Kelly's death into a cause celebre because it doesn't fit their left-wing narrative. They would only notice if he had been killed by a police officer.
But the men and women of law enforcement are not the ones making life in urban America unlivable. That is being done by thugs like the one who took the life of Zaire Kelly.
When professional football players start protesting the thugs who are killing the dreamers in our inner cities, then I will start taking them seriously.
Details are slowly beginning to emerge about a possible tax reform plan. President Trump is expected to deliver a speech Wednesday promoting the plan. Here's what we understand are the broad outlines as of now:
- The seven existing tax brackets would be reduced to three, with the top tax rate falling from 39.6% to 35%. The other rates are not yet known.
- The corporate tax rate would be lowered from 35% to 20%, while the tax rate on many small businesses would be reduced to 25%.
- The standard deduction is expected to double, a big help to working and middle class families.
But just like healthcare reform, there are some Republicans who want less or more, and they could turn this potential victory into a defeat. Let's hope they learn how to be team players.
In other news, President Trump issued a new executive order expanding the list of nations covered by travel and visa restrictions. The new order includes Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.